With studies of motor behavior that feature manual control, it is suggested that the methodology used to select subjects in reference to handedness be reviewed. This suggestion is in view of the recommendation that simply asking subjects to identify their writing hand is inadequate to define handedness. Complementing this are recent findings in neuroscience indicating differences, at times significant, in information-processing behavior based on handedness classification. A brief review of recently published studies in two prominent outlets for motor behavior research confirms that most reports provide minimal (and sometimes no) information regarding handedness and the method used for assessment. Recommendations for addressing the problem include using an acceptable preference inventory, selecting only those subjects with strong lateral characteristics, and briefly describing the methodology used for the reviewing audience.
Carl Gabbard is with the Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4243.